Northern Colorado Rallies For 74-71 Win
For the second-straight night, Eagles fall in the final seconds as Northern Colorado's Will Figures makes game-winning shot with 22 seconds left
Eastern Washington University couldn't come up with the winning shot for the second-straight night, and fell to Northern Colorado 74-71 Saturday (Jan. 16) in a Big Sky Conference men's basketball game at Reese Court in Cheney, Wash.
Will Figures hit the game-winning shot for the Bears with 22 seconds to play. After Eastern's Kevin Winford missed a three-pointer with five seconds left, Figures closed out a 21-point scoring night with a free throw to provide the final margin with 2.7 seconds left.
Three Eagles scored in double figures as EWU fell to 6-13 on the season and 2-4 in league play. Eastern had lost to Northern Arizona 73-69 the previous night as the Lumberjacks took the lead for good with 31 seconds to play.
Northern Colorado improved its league-best overall record to 16-3, and is 5-2 in the league. The Bears trailed by as many as 15 in the first half, but out-scored EWU 15-0 in a 6:50 stretch at the end of the first half and start of the second.
"We couldn't run in the second half -- the tank was on empty," said Eastern head coach Kirk Earlywine of playing back-to-back nights. "I thought our guys were trying their butts off."
Senior Mark Dunn led the Eagles with 16 points, four rebounds and a pair of assists as he made 4-of-7 shots from the field and all six of his free throws. Freshman Jeffrey Forbes had 14 points on 5-of-7 shooting from the field, and also had a pair of steals and a pair of assists.
Freshman Glen Dean was the third Eagle in double figures as he chipped in 11 points and four assists. Matthew Brunell also had four assists -- a career high -- and a team-high six rebounds.
The Eagles made 10-of-24 three-point shots in the game and sank 46 percent of their shots overall. Northern Colorado made 50 percent in the game, including 57 percent in the pivotal second half.
Eastern led by a dozen in the first half with a 13-2 run that gave the Eagles a 27-15 lead with 7:12 left before intermission on a fast-break dunk by Gary Gibson. Forbes added five points in the run, including one of the three treys the Eagles hit in that stretch.
The Eagles went on to lead 39-29 at halftime as they out-scored the Bears 12-0 in fast-break points in the half. Northern Colorado had a chance to get their first fast-break points in the final seconds, but a travel was called on Neal Kingman on a break-away after a steal.
But Northern Colorado scored the first 10 points in the second half to knot the game at 39. The rest of the half featured seven ties and 11 lead changes.